When Virgin Balloon Flights met the ring-tailed lemurs

Well aware that the Virgin Group founder is passionate about saving the world’s lemur population, Virgin Balloon Flights didn’t hesitate at the chance to help a couple of ring-tailed furry friends closer to home.

With more than 90 per cent of species facing extinction, lemurs are the most threatened mammal group on earth. So the animal mad team at Virgin Balloon Flights were keen to do their bit and jumped at the chance to sponsor a new lemur enclosure at Exotic Zoo in Telford.

The two young ring-tailed lemurs arrived at the zoo, based just down the road from their Balloon HQ offices, a few weeks ago.

After a ribbon cutting ceremony in front of a crowd of afternoon visitors (and one of the lemurs that came to watch through the glass!), head of marketing Matt Jones and his team had the chance to meet and feed their furry new friends.

Protecting an endangered species

Exotic Zoo is not-for-profit education centre and zoo founded by Scott Adams - known to many as television’s animal man through his regular appearances on CBBC’s Blue Peter programme.

"We had worked with the Exotic Zoo team before on our Face Your Fears challenge and know first-hand what an amazing job they do caring for and rescuing all kinds of exotic animals, from snakes to meerkats and scorpions to armadillos," said Matt.

"So when they asked us if we’d be up for sponsoring their new lemur enclosure, it was an immediate yes.

"After the opening, Scott took us inside the enclosure to meet the lemurs and feed them a few treats, which was awesome.

"They were amazing animals and we’re very proud to have been able to sponsor their home."

Scott, a former rock frontman who toured the world with the band Envy Of The State, first set up Exotic Zoo as an educational venture and community interest with the support of The Prince’s Trust back in 2012.

Initially an educational centre only, in summer 2017 Scott finally realised a lifelong dream and moved with his team of humans and animals alike to bigger, outdoor premises that were open to the public for the very first time.

"We want to say a big thank you to Virgin Balloon Flights," he said. "We are all really excited to have such a big and exciting company on board that has sponsored our exciting new arrivals. We hope our relationship continues with them in the future."

Doing their bit

Exotic Zoo is not the only good cause supported by Virgin Balloon Flights this year, with the rest of their fundraising efforts going to The Outward Bound Trust.

"It’s always been a big part of our business to help good causes as much as we can," added Matt. "We might not be the biggest Virgin entity but we have that same ethos at our core to ‘give something back’."

As another successful flying season comes to a close and we head into the festive season, Virgin Balloon Flights looks back on a truly fantastic 2017.

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